Pelvic Floor Disorder (PFD) is On the Rise
Piss-shaw! A funny thing happens when you work up the courage to admit that you can't carry groceries into the house and sneeze at the same time without having to change your pants before you put away the frozens - people become your best friends and confidants.
So was I alone? Nope! Okay well, if all of my new besties are sneeze-peeing, too - does that mean that it is natural?
Nope - not even for old people.
Let me say that again. NO - it is not natural! We should not accept this as a natural consequence of childbirth or aging.
There are mechanical root causes for PFD. Mechanical causes are something we can work with!
"But..." you ask, "does that mean that I have to spend all of my waking hours doing Kegels?"
Oh heck, NO (they can actually make the problem worse - but that's another post)!
If Restorative Exercise™ had nothing more to offer than freedom from doing Kegels, that would be enough.
Don't worry, it has a LOT more offer. So, if you're not a sneeze-peer RE has plenty of good stuff for you, too!
So about those Kegels... Through the magic of reading research in her field, Katy Bowman discovered an abstract of research studying the long term effectiveness of Kegels (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18651881). Researchers discovered that among the women who were still doing their exercises 8 years after the start of the study there were still PFD issues, and their quality of life did not differ from the control group (non-Kegelers).
Here is the part of the abstract that makes my toes curl... Did they conclude that there was no long term effectiveness of the exercise? NO! They concluded that though these women "claimed" to have done the exercises, the real issue here is improving compliance. Wha??? Forgive me - I digress.
RE offers not only freedom from Kegels. RE offers freedom from the BFD of PFD as well.
Here are a few quick tips on how you might begin making friends with your pelvic floor again:
- Consider transitioning into to a shoe without any heel. It all starts with the feet, people. Any amount of heel makes things worse (even your favorite "flats" & running shoes). Hang out for a while at www.katysays.com or contact me for more scoop on footwear and how it is affecting your entire body. In the meantime, take my word for it - footwear matters.
- Give some thought to reducing the impact of your activities until your muscles have a chance to strengthen and start carrying their fair share of the organ load (right now the ligaments are probably doing all of the work). All of that bouncing around that you're doing in the name of fitness is very likely stretching your ligaments to their limit. A stretched out ligament is like the blown-out elastic in your favorite sweat pants... pretty useless and irreparable!
- When you sit, here's a thought: try using your sitting bones (if you aren't familiar with that part of your anatomy, look up ischial tuberosity). The ischial tuberosity is the part that digs into your leg when your little nieces and nephews plop down on your lap. It is that "get your bony butt out of my thigh" part. Use those awesome tuberosities of yours for sitting upon instead of rolling back on to your sacrum (slouching). There is a ligament that attaches the sacrum to the uterus. If your sacrum is tucked into your pelvis, the uterus is tugged down (that's not a good thing). If you want a quick demo of what a good sitting-bone-sit looks like, here is a two and half minute you-tube video that will do that for you: Sitting properly on your pelvis. There are smiley face stickers involved - I love it!
Knowledge is power, my friends! Make a change here and there and see how you feel.
Lastly, I would like to say - men have pelvic floors, too. Yes, it true; and, they are just as important to keep healthy. So, if you or someone you love happens to be a man, remember this quote from p. 98 of Katy Bowman's book Alignment Matters:
"...although your organs won't prolapse or peek out of your vagina... they will settle down onto your prostate. For your prostate, this is about as comfortable as being trapped underneath a large book case."
Ouch! That can't be good for ANYTHING, right??
The button below will link you to my contact page. I am planning a 4 week class on Pelvic Floor Health. If you're interested, give that button a click and add your name to the list!